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Price to participate in BGSU’s pro day

Price is ONU's all-time leader in career receptions and receiving yards. (Northern Review photo/ Grant Pepper)

Devon Price has a chip on his shoulder. He is not necessarily angry; rather, he is motivated. After he tore his ACL last spring, many did not think Price would be healthy enough to play his senior season, let alone compete for a spot on an NFL roster afterwards.

But alas, he is doing just that.

After a record-breaking senior season at Ohio Northern, an appearance in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January, and eight weeks of intensive training at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas, Price is ready for the next step in the process of pursuing his NFL dreams.

Price will be participating in his pro day on Monday, held at Bowling Green State University, and he will be the only non-BGSU player at the event. Because ONU does not have its own pro day, the NFL gave Price the option to go to Bowling Green’s because it is the closest school with one.

Monday represents a major opportunity for Price, and a way into the pros.

“Devon possesses the ability to play in the NFL,” Bardia Ghahremani, Price’s agent, said. Ghahremani is the CEO of International Sports Agency in California, and has represented past ONU pros such as Jamal Robertson and (currently) Jason Trusnik.

“I keep telling him, ‘You just need to get an opportunity, like Jamal [Robertson] and Jason [Trusnik] got,’” Ghahremani said. “‘If you get drafted, it’s just icing on top.’”

Both Ghahremani and Price agree that the senior’s speed testing times will be key on Monday, in order to gain the attention of scouts. If Price can record impressive 40-yard dash and agility times, scouts will be more apt to take a look at his film.

This is mainly because of the fact that, according to Ghahremani, scouts are less likely to focus on Price because he is from a Division III program.

“[Scouts] like to look at one thing- the level of competition,” Ghahremani said. “[Division III players] don’t necessarily get the love that players from bigger schools do, because of the level of competition.”

And for Price, Monday is another chance to prove that he can compete with players from bigger schools.

“I’ll always carry that Division III chip on my shoulder,” Price said. “I know that other athletes might turn their head and say, ‘Oh, he’s from Division III. What can he really do?’ I want to make them understand who I am, and make them shut up. I can still do the same things as them.”

Price will need to prove the doubters wrong on Monday, as he has done for over a year now. He has come a long way from the ACL tear last spring, an injury that many thought would sideline him for his senior season at Ohio Northern.

“He’s fought his whole way back,” Ghahremani said. “From not being sure whether he would play his senior season, to playing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, to training in Dallas for the last eight weeks- he’s really fought his whole way back.”

The ACL injury last spring presented more than just a physical obstacle for Price. Every offseason, the National Scouting Bureau contacts universities across the country, asking if they have any players to ‘recommend’ for pro scouts to look at during the coming season. Because of Price’s recent ACL tear and the doubts that surrounded his playing status that fall, he was not recommended by Ohio Northern last spring, according to Ghahremani.

This put Price behind in the scouting process. He was under the radar until November, when Ghahremani came to see him practice after a call from Head Coach Dean Paul.

“So, I came to watch Devon practice and I saw some game film,” Ghahremani said. “And I said to myself, ‘How have I not seen this guy yet?’”

Ghahremani has gotten film out to pro scouts and allowed for Price to get invited to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January, where Price was the only Division III player on either roster.

During the week of practice leading up to the bowl game, Price met Bowling Green State quarterback Matt Johnson. The two have stayed in touch since the bowl game, and Johnson will be throwing to Price on Monday at BGSU’s pro day. Since Price has gotten home from Texas (last Sunday), Price and Johnson have been working out together to improve their cohesiveness for Monday’s workout.

“We’re just trying to get on the same page, with the timing, for our pro day,” Price said.

With the draft just over a month away, Price is focused on taking things one step at a time; especially considering that so much hinges on his performance on Monday.

“I don’t really focus too much on the draft, or what the next move is,” Price said. “Because so much is based on that pro day. I can’t predict the future, I can only control my pro day.”

And for all the doubt that Price has had to dispel over the past year, he is relentlessly positive. He understands that this is bigger than himself.

“I just want to represent my name, my son, my mother well,” Price said. “But I also want to carry myself well, and perform for Division III football players. I know that there’s other guys out there like me, that might want to chase this dream.”

Devon Price has a chip on his shoulder. He is motivated to prove the doubters wrong, once again. Maybe he wasn’t ‘recommended.’ Maybe he doesn’t come from a Division I school.

And maybe, just maybe, he’ll get a chance.